India's engagement with the wider Middle East raises more questions than answers. Challenges for India's next prime minister are daunting and meeting them will require major damage control, direction, and foresight. No Indian leader has visited any of the Arab countries since the Arab Spring began in January 2011. There is no longer the compulsion for India to formulate and articulate its position on various international developments, such as the Geneva Iranian nuclear deal, the Syrian crisis, ongoing Saudi-Iran tensions, the turmoil within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and the Crimean crisis. At the same time, the period since February 2014 has witnessed a spate of visitors to New Delhi from the Middle East. The wider Middle East will require more attention from the next Indian leader than at any time in the past.
Paper produced within the framework of the IAI-GMF strategic partnership.